Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Little Follow-Up: Someone Write This Novel and The Girl Who Studied

A couple of follow-up items to previous discussions here:

1. Someone Write This Novel
After New York passed legislation legalizing gay marriage last month, I asked for recommendations for a novel about a long-term same-sex relationship. There were some interesting ideas, but nothing that fit what I was looking for. In the coverage of the first gay weddings in New York City this week, I saw the story I am looking for, though not in novel form.

From The New York Times:
“We feel a little more human today,” Ray Durand, 68, said moments after marrying his partner, Dale Shields, 79, whom he met 42 years ago by a jukebox in a West Village bar.
This is the novel I want to read. Or if you want to write a memoir fellas, I'll break my embargo on them and snap yours up. In hardcover even. 

2. The Girl Who Studied
I should have written more about Hermione in my scattered, omnibus thoughts on the end of Harry Potter. My basic thesis would have been something like this: Hermione was our avatar for the serious. A muggle and wizard-world fangirl, she made bookishness seem cool and capable. In short, she was the kind of kid many of us who are bonkers for books were (and are).

This piece, a revisionist satire imagining a recentered Hogwarts world, attempts to show what made Ms. Granger so enchanting:

There’s no prophecy assuring her importance; the only way for Hermione to have the life she wants is to work for it. So Hermione Granger, generation-defining role model, works her adorable British ass off for seven straight books in a row. Although she deals with the slings and arrows of any coming-of-age tale — being told that she’s “bossy,” stuck-up, boring, “annoying,” etc — she’s too strong to let that stop her. In Hermione Granger and the Prisoner of Azkaban, she actually masters the forces of space and time just so that she can have more hours in the day to learn.
And it pays off.
And, as I said on Twitter, I would read this series. And it might well be a better one.  


  1. Reading some of the comments on the Hermione Granger article, you'd think that people cannot take a joke and refuse to see beyond the end of their noses. I found it fun and inspiring. Hermione is no Mildred Hubble (she's much more confident of herself and her magic), but she is a role model -- and she doesn't sparkle. 

  2. Funny about the Hermione thing. I always had a tendency to identify with her except that I did think she was portrayed as bossy, stuck-up, etc., and was always annoyed by that and the fact that Harry was so much less bright and a jock and, of course, the more popular one. Thought it was all awfully stereotypical really.